Playmobil City Life Children's Playground Set - Review



I was a huge fan of Playmobil back when I was a little girl, so it delights me that it's still around all these years later because my children get to enjoy it too. When Smyths Toys got in touch, asking if we'd like to review one of their exclusive Playmobil sets I didn't hesitate in taking them up on the offer. I decided to go for the Playmobil City Life Children's Playground, but everything in the range looked fantastic.

It arrived a few days later, packaged nicely in the Playmobil packaging we are all familiar with. I like how the branding hasn't changed much over the years, it makes me feel nostalgic. Inside the box were multiple plastic bags, all filled to the brim with various bits and pieces.


I'm not going to lie, it took around half an hour to set the playset up because it's quite fiddly and there are lots of pieces. However, the instructions are easy to follow, and once I'd managed to get it all together I was very impressed! It's worth the time it took because the attention to detail is next to none, from the little squirrels and birds, through to the tiny little flowers and little water bottles. Everything is so lovely.

The Playmobil Children's Playground Set includes various play areas which can all be used together or separately. There's a park with a skateboard ramp, slide, and picnic area, a small sandpit park with a slide and a seesaw, a double swing set and a carousel swing. All the swings can move back and forth and the carousel spins around.


Not only does the set come with varies play areas, but it comes with 9 character figures and countless accessories which really add to the gameplay. The smaller accessories include; 1 x Bike, 1 x Pram, 1x Scooter, 1x Skateboard, 
1 x Sieve, 1 x Bucket, 1 x Watering Can, 1 x Rake, 1 x Spade, 1 x Bench, 1 x Stool, 1 x Skate ramp ground, 1 x Crate, 6 x Bottles, 1 x Tongs, 1 x Barbecue, 1 x Barbecue cover, 1 x Barbecue griddle, 2 x Apples, 1 x Basket and 6 x Sausages. Basically, it contains everything you need on a children's playground and for a day out!


Playmobil is known for its quality, and attention to detail and this set is no exception. I know that these toys will stand the test of time, and think they'll enjoy these toys for years to come. 
I'd recommend this set for children who are new to Playmobil and for those who already collect it too. It's a great all-rounder. The Playmobil City Life Children's Playground Set is recommended for children from 3 years of age, retails at £39.99 and is available exclusively to Smyths Toys.

- We were sent this product for the purpose of this review, however, all opinions are my own.


Christmas Gift Guide - For Men



With Christmas just three weeks away, I'm now in the process publishing my annual Christmas gift guides. I really enjoy putting these together every year because they push me to think out of the box, to consider other options, and leave me feeling inspired. Earlier this week I published my Gift Guide for Women, which you can find here, but today's gift guide is focused on the men in our lives. I hope that my suggestions give you a little inspiration when it comes to gift giving this Christmas.


Personalised Prosecco - from £16.99
I'm starting this gift guide with two products that are ideal for those who like to have a drink or two at Christmas time. It's Your Bottle offers a range of different wines, which can be personalised with your choice of label. Choose from red wines, white wines, prosecco or rose, and customise with a label suitable for the occasion that you are celebrating. I opted for a bottle of prosecco with a rather fitting, festive label, perfect for making a toast on Christmas day.

Dartington Crystal - Three Cheers for Beers Gift Set - £27.00
Give fellow beer lovers the chance to explore and indulge in different types of beer from around the world with the Dartington Three Cheers to Beers gift set. Included in the set are a classic pint glass, a stemmed Pilsner lager and a footed glass for strong, dark ales. I tend to reach for packs of beers for the blokes in my family, so this is a great alternative this year, one which I know my Father in law will really appreciate.


What's That Smell? - £24.99
As you can see by the front of the box it's described as "the party game that stinks" and just the tagline alone makes it appeal to so many blokes (and women) out there! 
It's dubbed as the first ever scent guessing party game that opens up a world of interesting smells! Guess the scent on the card correctly to win or you could be suffering the reeking ramifications of one of the deadly Stank Cards! Yuck! With over 50 smells from nice to downright nasty, What's That Smell? is a breath of fresh (and not-so-fresh) air in the party game category!

Levis Tshirt & Boxers Set - £30.00
This Levis set contains two essentials which always seem to make it under a blokes Christmas tree every year, but they are a little fancier! Inside the gift box is a cotton jersey t-shirt with a ribbed crew neck, short sleeves and a signature woven Levis logo pinch tag in the left side seam in red and white. There's also one pair of boxer briefs in black with an elasticated waistband featuring the signature Levis logo woven in white. You can purchase it online at Mainline Menswear.


Yankee Candle Amaretto Apple Elevation Candle - £23.99
Yankee Candle has just released a brand new collection of luxury candles, the Yankee Candle Elevation Collection with Platform Lid. All the candles in the feature a new versatile design with a tapered glass silhouette and dual-purpose lid which doubles up as a platform for the candle while it burns. As always there's an array of different fragrances and I chose Amaretto Apple because I think it sounds a little different from usual Christmas scents.

Joop! Homme - from £16.99
My partner and I always gift one another a new scent at Christmas and I think they make great gifts for fellow family members too. Sexy and confident, the popular Joop! Homme EDT is a classic scent for men and perfect for date nights or nights on the town. I'm thinking of purchasing Joop! Jump for my Dad next, which is available at Fresh Fragrance. Use the code CGD10 to receive 10% off all products on their website. Voucher code is valid until January 2019.


Go Ape Gift Voucher - from £10.00
Go Ape are firm believers that outdoor experiences make people happy. Whether it’s zipping through the treetops, whizzing along the forest floor, or bouncing on our super springy bounce nets, at Go Ape there’s an adventure for everyone. With 33 locations to choose from in the UK, your loved ones are in for one memorable experience. Gift vouchers start at just £10.00, meaning there's a price point for every wallet and for every occasion. Perfect for all those adrenaline junkies out there.


bakerday letterbox cake - from £14.99
Last, but not least how about a letterbox cake from bakerdays? You can't beat a nice cake at Christmas! It's so easy to use their website, you can literally have a personalised cake sent out in minutes, if not sooner! There are countless designs to choose from, a cake for every occasion, many of which can be personalised with names and photographs. Not only that but you can select what flavour cake you want. Traditional sponge, chocolate cake, lemon drizzle, fruit cake, gluten-free sponge or dairy free sponge? What will it be?


Swizzles Sweets - from £1.00
Swizzles are perfect for all those with a sweet tooth, who would perhaps like a trip down memory lane too! I have fond memories of nipping to the corner shop to buy a handful of double lollies and refreshers. The new range of Squashies are fantastic too, great for those who prefer softer, chewier sweets! I'm hoping Nick share's these! 

Do you like the look of any of these gifts? Which is your favourite?

- We were sent these products for the purpose of this gift guide, however, all opinions are my own.

Christmas Gift Guide - For Women



With Christmas only a matter of weeks away, it's time for my annual gift guides. I really enjoy putting these together every year because I end up feeling inspired by all the amazing suggestions that are sent my way. Though it's worth mentioning that I only include products in my guides that I would recommend and items that I genuinely think would make fantastic gifts. So, without further ado, here is my Christmas Gift Guide, for women.


Winter special buys from Aldi - from £3.99
The first products featured in my gift guide this year are these winter special buys from Aldi. I think this bundle would make a great collection of goodies for Christmas, suitable for mum's, grandmas, sisters, aunties, friends and so on. The Ladies Blanket Scarf retails at £8.49 and is available in four different designs; grey, teal, blue checked, and pink checked. It's the perfect way to stay warm, yet stylish this winter. The Ladies All Over Print Pyjamas and Ladies Smart Phone Gloves are also bargains, at just £8.99 and £3.99 each. I know that I'd be delighted if I found these under my Christmas tree.


Candles from Wax Lyrical - £18.99 each
Is it just me, or does everyone love candles? I have one lit all year round, but there's something about lighting candles in winter, especially at Christmas time. These two festive scented candles from Wax Lyrical again would make excellent gifts for most people out there, whether they are male or female. Wax Lyrical's Colony collection has added three new scents to their already impressive Christmas collection; Fireside, Alpine Retreat and Starry Night, alongside all-time favourites such as Vanilla & Cranberry, Cinnamon Spice and Gold, Frankincense & Myrrh. With such a variety of festive fragrances and scented products available, you can easily fill your home with gorgeous festive scents throughout winter.


Aqua Manda Bath Oil & Perfume - £7.49 & £27.50 
The iconic perfume from the 60s and 70s is back and guaranteed to take you on a trip down memory lane. Aqua Manda Perfume is made with the essential oils of mandarin, ginger, lavender, patchouli, cinnamon, and other aromatic herbs. The fragrance has a top note of Mandarin with an Oriental base notes. It's a
fresh and longlasting scent which is suitable for both daytime and evening wear. The Bath Oil has the same fragrance as the classic Aqua Manda Perfume and is perfect for a pamper session. HoMedics Ultrasonic Aroma Diffuser - £27.99 The HoMedics Dream Ultrasonic Diffuser is ideal for those who like to take care of themselves, or are in dire need of some TLC. It's a clever little light-up diffuser that uplifts aroma, to help you relax and to enhance your wellbeing, with up to five hours of continuous runtime. Included is a small starter kit, with orange and peppermint oils that provide a natural aroma to improve your mood.

Chase Pink Grapefruit & Pomelo Gin - £36.45
Gin is all the rage at the moment, whether it's regular gin or the flavoured variety. 
Made with Williams GB gin as the base spirit and infused with a delicate range of eight botanicals including; juniper, orange peel, licorice, elderflower, and bitter almond before distillation in a copper gin still with pink grapefruit and pomelo peel. I've tried a few different gin's lately, and this is a new found favourite. It's such a light and fresh spirit, with hints of citrus fruits. You can find this on offer at the moment at 31Dover.

Nina Ricci Nina Eau de Toilette Spray - £38.00
Now, who doesn't like to receive a bottle of perfume at Christmas time? Nina Ricci Nina Eau de Toilette tends to go down well with ladies of all ages with it's charming and seductive scent. There are lots of different scents available over on the Fresh Fragrance website, a couple of which have taken my fancy this year.


Champagne Afternoon for Two
 - £50.00
A luxurious afternoon tea for two at a hotel, restaurant, cocktail lounge or tea room? Where do I sign up? The Champagne afternoon for two experience from Red Letter Days is bound to put a smile on anyone's face, especially when the recipient realises that they can choose their own destination, time and date. This is a great option for when you are stuck for ideas and want to gift something a little different, something with a bit of pizzazz.
 


Flamigni Dark Chocolate & Amarena Cherry Panettone - £24.50
This luxurious panettone is ideal for foodies out there, or for anyone who loves a delicious treat at Christmas time. This version from Flamigni puts a twist on the classic Christmas bread that we all know and love by adding dark chocolate and cherries to the mix. It is presented in gorgeous gift wrap and tied up with string, ready to be gifted on Christmas day. I can imagine my whole family tucking into big slices, accompanied by mugs of hot chocolate with lashings of cream. This panettone and other varieties available online at Sous Chef.


Hallmark Itty Bitty's - £6.00 each
If you know someone who loves everything cute and cuddly, or who's a fan of Disney, Marvel, DC, then Itty Bitty's may be for them! There are so many different characters collect, with new ones released often. Cruella de Vil, Maleficent and Tigger are three of the latest Itty Bitty's and I think they are my favourite one's yet! Visit the website for more information, to purchase, or to see the other characters in the range.

Would you consider any of these gifts for Christmas?

- We were sent these products for the purpose of this gift guide, however, all opinions are my own.

Virginia Hayward Goodies Galore Hamper - Review & Giveaway



It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas, the big day is just four weeks away. I don't know about you but I think Christmas wouldn’t be the same without a hamper or two to tuck into. I adore hampers, not only are they great to share with your family, but they also make gifts and donations too. Last week Virginia Hayward sent us their Goodies Galore Hamper to review here on the blog, so without further ado.


The Goodies Galore hamper arrived in a purple cardboard box, patterned with white holly, it looked very festive and environmentally friendly. Waiting inside were six different edibles, all of which are perfect to enjoy over the festive period. The hamper is mainly made up of sweet treats, with the handmade Abbey Spiced Biscuits, Market Town Bakery Dundee Slab Cake, Matthew Walker Christmas Pudding, Radfords Handmade Clotted Cream Fudge and the Milk with White Chocolate Tree Chocolate Bar. However, there is a little savory included with the Buiteman English Cheddar Biscuits. Everything looks so inviting and delicious, so much so that I’m going to have to hide it away otherwise we’ll eat it all before Christmas!


The Goodies Galore Hamper offers all the treats you need to celebrate over Christmas and New Year and at just £14.99 it doesn’t break the bank either. I think it’s a bargain. Head over to Virginia Haywards website to see more Christmas hampers. How would you like to win a Goodies Galore Hamper? To enter simply use the Gleam form below. Good luck and don’t forget to enter my other competitions!

Virginia Hayward Goodies Galore Hamper

Terms & Conditions.         
1. There will be 1 winner who win the prize mentioned above (or alternative if out of stock)
2. Winners details sent to the PR to arrange the prize. 
3. Competition ends 30/12/18.
4. Incomplete entries with be disqualified.
5. UK entries only

Peppa's Secret Surprise - Review



If you are a parent, there's a very high chance that your days revolve around Peppa Pig! I'm pretty sure that 99.9% of children are obsessed with that little pig, my kids are no exception. We've already gone through the Peppa Pig stage with Noah, and he still enjoys it now at five years of age, but Ava, she takes her fandom to a whole new level. With the kids being such big fans, we've amassed quite the Peppa Pig toy collection over the years and very excited when we heard about the newest Peppa Pig toy on the market, Peppa's Secret Surprise!


Peppa's Secret Surprise is a yellow plastic box, shaped just like a present. Hidden inside are six different drawers, five containing different blind bags and one containing a fun sticker sheet. It really is the gift that keeps on giving in the eyes of a Peppa fan! Noah decided to find all the different surprises before opening any, and couldn't wait to see what was inside.


Inside our first box, we discovered one of our favourite characters, Suzy Sheep and four different accessories; a party hat, fairy wings, a slice of cake and a gift box! It was easy and so much fun dressing Suzy up in her party hat and wings and the slice of birthday cake is so cute.


In our second box, we hit the jackpot and discovered the boss herself, Peppa Pig! The accessories in this box were duplicates, however, there are lots of different accessories available. There are different coloured party hats, crowns, handbags, hairbrushes, tiara's, books and even rubber ducks! The other characters available are Zoe Zebra, Rebecca Rabbit and different variations of Peppa. 


As you can see, series 1 is party themed and they've put a lot of thought into the little details, from the slices of birthday cake, through to the party hats and sparkly dresses. Series 2 will be released in the new year, with a different colour box and a new theme! We can't wait to see what it will be! (We hope to see Candy Cat!)

Peppa's Secret Surprise are brought to you by Character Options and are suitable for children from 3 years of age. They retail at £9.99 each and are available to buy online and in most toy stores.

- We were sent these products for the purpose of this review, however, all opinions are my own.

Bandai Rescue Runts Spaniel Puppy - Review & Giveaway




Ever since the kids were old enough to interact with animals, we've shown them how to treat animals with love and respect, which is something that I think all children should learn from a young age. Over the years they've inherited our affinity to animals, and I love it. I hope it's a trait that will follow them throughout childhood and beyond.

I was delighted when I heard the news that a Rescue Runt was on it's way to us because they looked like the ideal toys for my two little animal lovers. 
We didn’t know which puppy we'd be receiving and was delighted when we opened the box to discover a spaniel. There's also a husky, dalmatian and german shepard in series 1. I think we might need to adopt them all.


Rescue Runts are adorable, plush puppies, who need some TLC and a forever home. When we took our pup out the box it was evident that he needed our help, love, and care and that is just what he got from the kids. They used the grooming kit which is included, to nurture him back to health. They wiped away his tears with the small cloth, picked the fleas out of his fur with the tweezers, cleaned the mud off his paws and combed his hair out with the comb. They were in their element.


The kids also removed the bandage from his leg, perked up his ears up and made him smile. We then lovingly named him Coco, and we wrote his name on his collar. They've been taking such good care of their pup for the past couple of days, brushing his fur again when it gets messy again, recleaning his paws, and smothering him in plenty of kisses. It's great that they are able to redo this over and over.


At first glance, Rescue Runts may just look like a standard cuddly toy, but they are so much more than that. They are an engaging role play toy, one which encourages children to show compassion and empathy towards animals. What more could a parent ask for in a toy?

Each Rescue Runt comes with
a brush, a cloth, a collar, a bandage, a pair of tweezers and 6 coloured fleas. They are suitable for children from 3 years of age, retail at £17.99, and are available to buy now online and at Smyths Toys
How would you like to win a Rescue Runt for your little one? To enter simply use the Gleam form below! Good luck and don't forget to enter my other competitions.

Bandai Rescue Runt Toy

Terms & Conditions.         
1. There will be 1 winner who win the prize mentioned above (style will vary)
2. Winners details sent to the PR to arrange the prize. 
3. Competition ends 23/12/18.
4. Incomplete entries with be disqualified.
5. UK entries only